Choosing a real estate agent is the first and most important step in the property selling process. The sale of your property may be one of the biggest, if not the biggest financial transaction in your lifetime.
So, in order to find an agent who can help you achieve your selling goals, it’s a good idea to consider the following steps before making your final decision on an agent.
1. Take a good look at sales history
When you’re comparing real estate agents, it’s a good idea to look at how many properties the agents have sold, for how much, as well as how quickly they’ve sold other properties in the area. When you’re chatting to an agent, you can also ask if they’ve sold properties similar to your own. This includes not only the size of the property, but also which era the property was built in. If agents have sold similar properties to yours, especially recently, they might even have active buyers in their own database that have missed out on those similar properties. This means you have a stronger chance of selling quickly, and for more. You can compare agent and agency sales history at LocalAgentFinder.com.au, along with commission rates, marketing fees and homeowner reviews.
2. Discover what’s included in their marketing strategy
The success of your home sale comes down to how well your real estate agent advertises your property. A good real estate agent will use a mix of traditional and digital marketing methods to attract as many buyers as possible. It’s a good idea to ask whether your real estate agent will advertise using the following:
- Online listings on real estate portals such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au
- An online listing on their own agency website
- Listings in print media such as local newspapers and magazines
- A signboard for the front of your property
- Brochures or flyers for inspections
- Professional photography
Some real estate agents will go the extra mile to advertise your property on their own social media media platforms, or create virtual tours of your property using the latest technology. A good real estate agent will know what buyers in your area are looking for. So, your real estate agent may also suggest different ways you can style your home to attract more prospective buyers. If you’re looking to save on marketing costs, you can talk to your real estate agent about which advertising channels to cut, and which to keep.
3. Compare agent commission rates
It’s a good idea to look at agent commission rates. These rates can vary a lot depending on the state you’re in, and whether you live in a metropolitan versus regional area. Generally, we see higher commission rates in regional areas, where there is less competition among agents to secure a property listing. Choosing an agent with a lower commission rate could save you thousands of dollars. However, choosing an agent with a higher commission rate generally means they’ll be motivated to secure a higher selling price, as a higher sale price means more money in their pocket too. It’s important not to solely rely on agent commission rates when choosing an agent, but also marketing fees, sales history and homeowner reviews. You can compare agent commission rates at LocalAgentFinder. To get an idea of how LocalAgentFinder works, see the below example agent results page, where you can view sales history, commission rates and agency insights. If you’d like to compare agents in your area, you can register in just a couple of minutes here.
4. Read homeowner reviews
To boost your confidence and get an understanding on agents’ personalities, skills and attributes, it’s a good idea to check out reviews from other homeowners in your area. At LocalAgentFinder you can get an idea if an agent is, for example, a top negotiator, provides accurate valuations and has a strong team working hard to achieve the best outcome for your property. LocalAgentFinder asks homeowners to review agents at the end of their selling process, so we can share insights on what real estate agents in your local area excel in the most.
5. Book in a market appraisal
As soon as you have compared real estate agents online, it’s a good idea to book an appraisal with your shortlisted agent(s). Here, they can visit your property and give you a market appraisal, which is an estimate of the value of your property. The appraisal process is based on the real estate agent’s professional knowledge of the local market, mixed with an assessment of the physical features of your property. You can book in a market appraisal at LocalAgentFinder.com.au.
6. Interview agents
Once you have your market appraisal booked in, this is the perfect time to prepare yourself with any additional questions you have for your real estate agent. You could interview the agent while you’re getting your market appraisal done. Or, you can even ask interview them over the phone beforehand. We’ve prepared a handy checklist you can download and use as a question guide before to help you appoint a suitable real estate agent.
7. Agree on a suitable method of sale
As you make your final decision on an agent, you’ll want to be feeling comfortable with your chosen method of sale. Common selling methods include:
- Public or private auction
- Private sale
- Expressions of interest
- Negotiation; and
- Selling off-market
The right choice will depend on your location, market conditions in your area, your real estate agent’s experience and a myriad of other factors. If you’re selling via auction, your real estate agent may charge you more for an auctioneer. It’s a good idea to find out who will be auctioning your property, whether they’re new to auctioning property, or have years of experience in the market.
How to choose a real estate agent – what’s next?
Now that you’ve got an idea on the steps of choosing a great agent, you can begin your search at LocalAgentFinder. You’ll be able to access and compare real estate agent commission rates, marketing fees, sales history and homeowner reviews.